Brown University engineers have shown that both zinc and titanium oxide nanosurfaces can reduce the presence of bacteria. Discs with nanostructured surfaces had bumps that measured only .023 microns in diameter. Discs with microstructured surfaces had bumps that measured about 5 microns in diameter. Microstructured zinc oxide discs were host to 1,000 times more bacteria than the nanostructured zinc oxide discs. Similar, but less striking, results were duplicated on titanium oxide discs. The engineer`s hypothesis is that: `with the nanostructured surfaces we created, surface area increased by 25 to 35 percent. We think that this additional area, along with the unique surface energetics of these nanomaterials, gave bone-forming cells more places to adhere. But with bacteria, increased surface area may work the other way, exposing the bugs to more of the germ-fighting properties of the zinc oxide.`
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